The Social Security System (SSS) clarified that COVID-infected workers in home confinement are already covered under its Sickness Benefit Program, contrary to recent media reports.

SSS explained that members who cannot work due to sickness or injury and are confined either in a hospital or at home for at least four days could avail of the sickness benefit. Aside from employed members, SSS also grants sickness benefit to self-employed, voluntary, and overseas Filipino worker (OFW) members.

The SSS Sickness Benefit Program is a daily cash allowance paid for the number of days a qualified member cannot work due to sickness or injury, including workers infected by COVID-19. Members can avail of up to a maximum of 120 days in sickness benefit in one (1) calendar year.

COVID-infected members in home confinement can qualify under the program if they have paid at least three monthly contributions within the last 12 months before the semester of sickness or injury and are confined either in a hospital or at home for at least four days.

For employed members, they should have used all their current company sick leave with pay and notified their employer about their sickness. On the other hand, self-employed, voluntary, and overseas Filipino worker members and those separated from employment must notify SSS directly by filing a sickness benefit application.

Likewise, COVID-infected members need to present a positive Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test or Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) done in a Department of Health-accredited facility; or RAT result using Food and Drug Administration-approved test kit; or non-FDA-approved RAT result together with a copy of Certificate of Completion of Quarantine issued and signed by a Medical Officer from the local government unit or the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team.

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